Roberto Clemente


Gzim Bajrami, Staff Writer

Roberto Clemente is of Puerto Rican descent and made a huge difference in Major League Baseball for Hispanics. Clemente was born in 1934 in Puerto Rico, and joined the island’s amateur baseball league when he was 16 and made the professional league two years later at 18.

In 1954, Clemente was off to Montreal, Quebec, to play in the minor leagues. That same year, the Pittsburgh Pirates scouted him during training in Richmond, Virginia and Clemente was called up to the majors by November of that year in the rookie draft. Clemente, wearing the iconic number 21, went on to become the first Latin American and Caribbean to win a World Series as a starting player in 1960.

Unfortunately, Roberto died in an Airplane crash on his way to Nicaragua to deliver aid to earthquake victims when he was 38, so in his honor, the MLB renamed the Commissioner’s Award to the Roberto Clemente Award, and given to the player who all-around exemplifies sportsmanship and community outreach.

His legacy would follow him to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, making him the first Latin American and Caribbean honoree.